Kitsune to Atori is a freaky little collection of three multi-part stories that have absolutely nothing in common except the creator, Takeda Hinata.
The first half of the book, “Kitsune and Atori,” follows the lives, deaths and lives (and deaths, etc, etc,) of sisters Kitsune and Atori. Atori loves her big sister, but hates the foxes that haunt the shrine they live in. It’s kind of sadly apparent that they *are* the foxes, but when Atori kills her sister, there’s nothing we can do about it. Nor can we do anything when we see them alive once again, only this time it’s Atori who has to die. The story is a little weird, a little depressing, a little violent and a little touching, with a measure of “Wait, wasn’t that…? But I thought she…? HUH?”
The second half of the book, “The Doll’s Girl,” follows an introverted and lonely girl, Minori, who has been hospitalized for a long time, following her father’s death. Minori assuages her loneliness by making clothes for her only companion, a doll. When Kanae, a girl slightly older than Minori and exactly opposite in personality, arrives to share her room for a little while, she throws Minori’s life into complete chaos. Kanae is clothes obsessed, extroverted and brand-conscious. But she’s good-hearted and when she sees Hana, Minori’s doll, she decides that she needs a little bling in her life, pulls out a pair of scissors and slices her camisole up for lace for Hana’s hat. Kanae moves to her own room, but she and Minori come to see each other over and over. Minori asks if she can use one of the shiny buttons Kanae wears on her purse, but is told that those, and those alone, she can’t have.
When Kanae’s surgery day comes close Minori makes her a protective charm. Minori cuts out ivy leaves which, in the language of flowers, means “eternal friendship.” Kanae wants to see what’s inside, but Minori won’t let her, embarrassed by her moment of emotionality. Minori thinks Kanae doesn’t appreciate her, so she demands the o-mamori back. As she’s wheeled to surgery, Kanae asks the nurse to give the charm back to Minori, after learning what was in it. Minori receives the charm and opens it to find the buttons that Kanae treasured inside. Minori goes running through the halls to tell Kanae not to die.
The story comes to an end with Minori, dressed quite nattily, visiting a recovering Kanae in the hospital, with an epilogue in which Kanae and Minori are reunited in the outside world, hopefully never to be parted again.
The third story, “Yaeka’s Airmail,” involves a nursing school and some characters that look like infants, a lot of animals, and cool adult characters who look all of mid-teens. It was very dramatic, with fun interiors that didn’t match the story at all.
So, not the Yuriest manga ever published, but for incesty crushes and hospital crushes and impossible age-difference and geographically separate crushes, it was a fun romp through the interesting variety of stuff in the creator’s brain. ^_^
Art – variable, but averaging at 7
Story – ditto
Characters – same here
Yuri – 1
Service – 1
Overall – 7
Today’s review was sponsored by the peerless Komatsu-san, whose blog makes me laugh, as well as educates me about my own industry from the Japanese perspective.